Parts Known & Unknown: Exploring the Borders of Truth, Reconciliation and Redress

Every Child Matters

Parts Known & Unknown:  Exploring the Borders of Truth, Reconciliation and Redress

W. Kamau Bell joined Anthony Bourdain in Kenya in what was to be the final season of the CNN series, Parts Unknown. Kamau has roots in Kenya and this was his first time travelling to the motherlands of his people, and he stated something that I thought was interesting. He said something like, “coming to Kenya, you know, it’s nice to have a diasporic-kind-of-connection, even though I did not come from Kenya, but I have roots in Kenya, and even if that frame that the connection was built through was colonialism.”

It made me think about what it would be like for someone like myself to travel to the ancestral homes of my people. Well, this is my home. Certainly, more than it is your home, and in this era of truth and reconciliation, it is now both my home as much as it is your home. I come from no other place in the world than from right here, diitiidʔaaʔtx̣ – Ditidaht, we are the Nuuchahnulth and the seas for miles of shoreline and all of the land on the western side of our Vancouver Island home, from Point No Point in the south to Brooks Peninsula in the north, is Nuuchahnulth territory, our haahuulthii.

In the conclusion of that episode with W. Kamau Bell in Parts Unknown, Tony narrates an epilogue, “Who gets to tell the stories? This is a question asked often. The answer in this case, for better or for worse, is I do, at least this time out. I do my best, I look, I listen, but in the end, I know it’s my story. Not Kamau’s, not Kenya’s, or Kenyans’. Those stories are yet to be heard.”

It’s important for colonial settlers, and for new settlers, to Canada to consider who you are and where you come from, and what it means to live in British Columbia, and to think about your own frame of reference as being truly Canadian, even if that frame that the connection was built through was colonialism. The context, the narrative, the history, the good or bad of it, the story of what it means to be Canadian is apart and a part of your individual and shared story as a British Columbian, as a Canadian, as an unwelcomed or welcomed colonial settler, and as a new settler. The stories that have yet to be heard, and are now starting in some ways to be told, is our story, my story, of what it means to be diitiidʔaaʔtx̣, to be Nuuchahnulth, to be First Nations, to be Indigenous, and to also be Canadian in this country and in this province.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a unique opportunity to bridge the divide of our individual and collective stories, our distinct and shared experiences, and our united effort to right and write a new history chaptered with the stories of a sincere determination to tell the truths of the past, to reaffirm and renew our commitments to reconcile all things oppressive, racist and insufferable, and to create an honest and just redress for all Indigenous – First Nations, Inuit, Métis – peoples. It would be momentous to proclaim someday that we all come from a country in which the frame that the connection was built through was equality, acceptance and compassion.

It’s fair to ask, “What will you do between October 1st, 2022 and September 29th, 2023, to recognize your part in this history, this story, and what will you actively do to shift the narrative?” We’re at an urgent time in our country’s history to thoughtfully and actively explore all parts known and unknown in our ongoing journey to come to terms with each other and with our past, and with the present day. I look forward to the work ahead this year, and I’ll look forward to us hearing each other’s stories next year and in the many years to come.

With Respect,

Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituup
Indigenous Initiatives Advisor, Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Continue Learning

“The time to make things happen is now. The time to seek out our individual and shared power is now.”

Read the Message from the Indigenous Initiatives Advisor, Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituuphere

Discover REDI’s Indigenous-Specific Resources here

Welcome to REDI

Pride Month 2023: Pride Ortho!

National AccessAbility Week 2023: Social Media challenge

A Guide to Enhancing Visual Acessibility

National AccessAbility Week, scheduled from May 28 to June 3, 2023, is a time to celebrate and promote inclusivity, accessibility, and the contributions of individuals with disabilities. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness, foster understanding, and advocate for the rights and well-being of people with disabilities. In commemoration of National AccessAbility Week, read this post to learn about how to enhance designs for people with visual impairments.

In today’s digital age it is essential to prioritize visual accessibility to ensure inclusivity for all individuals. Visual accessibility involves addressing the needs of individuals with visual impairments, color blindness, low vision, or other visual disabilities. Visual accessibility encompasses the design and implementation of strategies that allow people with visual impairments to perceive and interact with visual information effectively. In this post, we will explore some key considerations to make digital content more accessible as well as tools to test visual accessibility of your designs.

Key Considerations for Visual Accessibility:

Alt Text

Alternative text (alt text) describes images using concise and descriptive text, allowing screen readers to convey the visual content to individuals who cannot see the images. Providing accurate alt text helps visually impaired users understand the context and meaning of the visual elements. It is important not to provide alt text for decorative images or images that do not contribute to understanding the rest of the content as that can be distracting.

Color Contrast

Maintaining appropriate color contrast is vital for individuals with low vision or color blindness. Designers should ensure that text, icons, and other important visual elements have sufficient contrast against their background.

This color contrast tool can be used to test the contrast of your designs. You can upload a design then select the foreground and background color. It shows if there is sufficient contrast between both colours.

Font size

When considering visual accessibility, it is crucial to pay attention to font sizes. While it may seem beneficial to use significantly larger text for better readability, it is important to strike a balance and avoid excessive variations in text sizes. This is particularly important for users who rely on screen magnifiers to enlarge content. When magnifying very small text, extremely large text can become overwhelming and may not fit within the user’s viewport.

Clear and Consistent Layouts

Consistency in design, layout, and navigation is essential for individuals with visual impairments. Clear headings, logical structure, and intuitive navigation elements allow users to navigate through digital content efficiently, improving their overall experience.

Accessibility Testing

Regular accessibility testing is crucial to identify potential issues and ensure compliance with accessibility guidelines and standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

We recommend using this Wave Web accessibility testing tool to test the accessibility of your webpage. You can simply paste your webpage URL and it provides you with a detailed assessment of the extent of the accessibility of your design.


Visual accessibility plays a vital role in creating an inclusive digital environment. By adopting the principles and practices of visual accessibility, we can ensure that individuals with visual impairments or disabilities have equal access to visual content.

SSC Leadership and EDI Workshop

Disrupting the Status Quo: Intersecting Inequities Impacting Women in the FoM and Opportunities for Change

The UBC Faculty of Medicine (FoM) Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) is pleased to invite you to join our 2nd virtual Annual Symposium titled: “Disrupting the Status Quo: Intersecting Inequities Impacting Women in the FoM and Opportunities for Change.”

Save the Date for REDI's 2nd virtual Annual Symposium to beheld on Wednesday, June 07th 2023 from 9:30 am to 1:30pm.

The symposium will be held virtually on Wednesday, June 07th 2023 from 9:30 am to 1:30pm.


  • 09:30-09:40 — Welcome
  • 09:40-10:00 — Introduction and Land acknowledgement, by Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituup
  • 10:00-10:50 — Keynote Speech, by Dr. Terri Aldred
  • 10:50-11:00 — Break
  • 11:00-11:40 — Panel 1 | Breaking the glass ceiling: Realities, possibilities and aspirations with Dr. Maria Hubinette, Nasim Peikazadi and Sonia Medel moderated by Dr. Neila Miled
  • 11:40-11:50 — Break
  • 11:50-13:20 — Panel 2 | Can we disrupt the status-quo? Women in Medicine narratives, challenges and hopes with Dr. Bonita Sawatzky, Dr. Brittany Bingham, Dr. Tal Jarus, Dr. Tatiana Sotindjo moderated by Dr. Maria Hubinette and Dr. Neila Miled
  • 13:20-13:30 — Closing remarks

Speaker Bios

Dr. Terri Aldred

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Terri Aldred

Dr. Terri Aldred is Carrier from the Tl’Azt’En territory located north of Fort St. James. She is Lysiloo (Frog) Clan who are traditionally known as the voice of the people. She follows her mother’s and Great-Grandmother’s line Cecilia Pierre (Prince).  Terri grew up in both the inner city of Prince George and on the Tachet reserve (in Lake Babine Territory) and these experiences helped motivate her to go to medical school so she could give back to her community. Terri has a Bachelor of Health Science Degree and a Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University of Alberta. She then went on to complete the Indigenous Family Medicine residency program through the University of British Columbia. At present, Terri is the Site Director for the Indigenous Family Medicine Program, Family Physician for the Carrier Sekani Family Services Primary Care team that serve12 communities in north-central BC, the Medical Director for Primary Care for FNHA, and the Indigenous Lead for the RCcBC. 

Derek Thompson

Land Acknowledgement and Opening Session Lead

Derek Thompson

Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituup is an advisor in the Faculty of Medicine Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI). Thlaapkiituup is from the diitiidʔaaʔtx̣ – Ditidaht First Nation, one of fourteen Nuuchahnulth Nations on the west coast of Vancouver Island. As the REDI Indigenous Advisor, Derek provides leadership and support across the Faculty to help create and sustain learning and work environments that incorporate standards of cultural safety and humility and that are free from Indigenous specific racism and discrimination. Derek promotes inclusion of an Indigenous perspective in all Faculty initiatives. Derek also works closely with the Director, Indigenous Engagement to implement the Faculty’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action in a way that will best support the formal commitments made to Indigenous peoples for a better and just future. This important work will also create opportunities for students, staff and faculty to engage with Indigenous people and communities in meaningful ways, and to begin anew the creation of redressing what we believe ourselves to be – as Indigenous peoples, and as Canadians.


Dr. Bonita Sawatzky

Dr. Bonita Sawatzky

Dr. Bonita Sawatzky is an Associate Professor and Director of READI (Respect, Equity, Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion) for the Department of Orthopeadics. Key initiatives so far have been on awareness and education with department grand rounds, resident training, website creation, and spotlights on department members who exemplify READI principles. Dr Sawatzky is now bringing a READI perspective to all departmental staff/faculty  and resident recruitment interview panels. She has worked in spinal cord injury research as a clinical biomechanist. She is a dedicated teacher in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, working  with medical students, residents and graduate students for the past 25 years. 

Dr. Brittany Bingham

Dr. Brittany Bingham

Dr. Brittany Bingham, MPH, PhD is of mixed ancestry and a proud member of the Shíshálh Nation and inaugural Director of Indigenous Research at the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity. She has worked in various capacities in research with Indigenous communities and policy for over 15 years. She is passionate about community-driven research, Indigenous research methods, health equity, Indigenous women’s health, Indigenous housing and homelessness, cultural safety and reconciliation. Dr. Bingham has overseen Indigenous cultural safety and humility efforts across research practices at CGSHE/University of British Columbia.

Dr. Tal Jarus

Dr. Tal Jarus

I believe everyone has the right to be an occupational human being. “The personal is political” – whether I am playing basketball, biking, cooking with my children, reading, watching a movie with my partner, talking to my mother, working on a research project, or marking an assignment – I am always occupied. I believe that everyone has the right to participate in meaningful occupations.

Our world is facing serious problems that affect the occupational performance of many people: violence, wars, chronic diseases, unemployment, poverty, and lack of acceptance and tolerance toward groups of people who differ from us. I am interested in looking at the relationship between the person, the environment and the occupation, to enhance health and well being of individuals and of society as a whole. That’s why I am an occupational therapy scientist!

Dr. Tatiana Sotindjo

Dr. Tatiana Sotindjo

Dr. Tatiana Sotindjo is currently part of the pediatric care team at the Provincial HIV care program and consultant Adolescent Medicine Specialist at BC Children’s Youth Health Clinic. She was appointed as inaugural Hudson Scholar for Equity Diversity and Inclusion for the UBC Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Tatiana Sotindjo is an exemplary leader in equity, diversity and inclusion, and in her clinical work in pediatric HIV care and addictions care. As the Hudson, ‘Scholar for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion she has been a leader, a mentor and an inspiration to residents and fellows from pediatrics, infectious diseases, medical microbiology and adolescent medicine. She advocates tirelessly for patients and staff facing racism and discrimination; she constantly challenges us to do better and never accepted the status quo as sufficient – as such, those around her have all been raised to a higher bar because of her impact and influence.

Nasim Peikazadi

Nasim Peikazadi

Nasim is a researcher and educator in the field of Education with specific attention to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. She is a Research Assistant for Breaking the Glass Ceiling: An Appreciative Inquiry and Recommendations for Faculty Gender Equity and Inclusivity in the UBC Faculty of Medicine (FoM). Her teaching involved various courses in the field of Adult Education and Lifelong learning. Her research work has mainly focused on equity-seeking groups and individuals such as racialized minority women, First generation immigrants and students, as well as refugees. She studied the impediments to economic and social inclusion faced by these populations. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Educational Studies at UBC Faculty of Education. Her dissertation focuses on the issues of inclusion and belonging within the context of cognitive imperialism approached through a transnational feminist lens.Nasim is currently working as an educational Resource Development Co-Ordinator at the Respectful Equity Diversity Inclusion (REDI) office of the Faculty of Medicine.

Sonia Medel

Sonia Medel is an interdisciplinary researcher-curator-artist completing a PhD in Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia as a Public Scholar, whilst leading diverse curatorial, filmmaking, choreographic, and publishing projects. She has been promoting decolonial intersectional feminist engagement with arts, culture, and education across the Americas for over a decade. She is a Research Assistant for Breaking the Glass Ceiling: An Appreciative Inquiry and Recommendations for Faculty Gender Equity and Inclusivity in the UBC Faculty of Medicine (FoM). Her doctoral project centers the experiences of racialized women, bridging the fields of arts and policy for socio-political transformation. Her broader research interests and areas of expertise include anti-oppressive curricular initiatives and qualitative methodologies, responsible curation, Latin American diaspora and youth, and sustainable intercultural development and education. Medel is also a college and university instructor, always open to teaching engagements. She strives to merge her academic institutional and creative sector experiences to further the inclusion of vulnerable peoples (as identified by the United Nations) and their knowledges in formal physical and virtual spaces of publishing, policy-making, and governance. Most of Medel’s peer-reviewed works can be found on, including her co-edited two-part Special Issue of the journal Postcolonial Directions in Education8(2) 2019 and 9(1) 2020, on the (de)colonial power of film and film festivals, a publication project which included mentoring film practitioners and artists in publishing and decolonizing editorial decision-making. Her co-directed film project, From Chile to Canada: Media Herstories, premiered at the 2022 Vancouver International Film Festival, and is currently making its way around the world. A proud Spanglish speaker, Quechua learner, daughter of Peruvian and Chilean parents, and Indigenous-Afro-European descendant, Medel is grateful to the Coast Salish Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples and their lands on which she was born and carries out her work.

This symposium is co-lead and moderated by Dr. Neila Miled and Dr. Maria Hubinette.

Dr. Maria Hubinette

Dr. Maria Hubinette

Maria Hubinette (she/her) is a community-based family physician with a special interest in youth and women’s health, including survivors of gender-based and sexualized violence. She is Affiliate Faculty at CGSHE, a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC and a Scholar at the UBC Centre for Health Education Scholarship. Dr. Hubinette is the Family Medicine Undergraduate Program Director at UBC and a former Assistant Dean, Equity Diversity Inclusion for the UBC Faculty of Medicine.
Maria engages in multiple forms of scholarship, in the domain of health professions education through lenses of social justice, equity, advocacy and social accountability. Broadly, her program of research (scholarship of discovery) explores how we conceptualize and operationalize social accountability and equity as health professionals. For example, one area of research unpacks how our curriculum including clinical learning reifies certain values, worldviews and abilities. Starting with her masters’ thesis exploring the construct of health advocacy, she has pursued a line of research around understanding health advocacy in health professions: how it is learned, how it is enacted, what motivates advocacy, etc. Another area of research considers the experience and professional identify formation of learners, particularly those that identify with groups that are traditionally under-represented in medicine. Scholarship of application includes assuming leadership roles and working with programs to address policies, processes and procedures that disadvantage certain groups using various forms of knowledge. Finally, scholarship of teaching includes translating these various forms of knowledge and perspectives into health professions education through development of curriculum, education tools and education practice.

Neila Miled

Dr. Neila Miled

Neila Miled is the Antiracism Advisor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI). Her role includes providing advising, training and skill-building in anti-racism education and developing, implementing and sustaining strategic best practices in equity, diversity, and inclusion to ensure a respectful, safe, equitable and inclusive learning and working environment. She graduated from UBC Educational Studies with an MA (2012) in Educational Administration and Leadership and a Ph.D. (2020). She was a sessional lecturer in the Teacher Education Program for five years. Her research focuses on anti-racism education, social justice, critical multiculturalism and the schooling experiences of refugee and immigrant students in Canada. Her research is framed by multiple critical theories and epistemologies, including post/decolonial theories, critical race theory, intersectionality, transnational feminism and anti-racism. She also examines the systemic barriers that reproduce inequality, especially as she identifies as a transnational, diasporic and immigrant woman. During her graduate journey, she received several scholarships and awards, including the Canadian Federal Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Joseph Armand Bombardier Doctoral Fellowship, Killam Trust Doctoral Award, and UBC Public Scholar Initiative award. Neila was born and raised in Kairouan (Tunisia), and she became an uninvited guest on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation. Her journey of migration and immigration has informed her academic interests and career choices.


The rise of women in the Faculty of Medicine has not been matched by a proportionate rise in appointment to senior leadership roles. Despite some gains, women, particularly those who are visibly racialized, are under-represented in senior leadership roles within the Faculty. In the absence of access to, and participation in, the conversations and decision-making critical to effecting transformative change, women have limited opportunity to disrupt the status quo.

During this event, we will hear from a diverse group of women about their perspectives on leadership, opportunities and barriers in the context of health professions practice, education and research. We will centre intersectionality and the differentiated experiences of women as we critically examine how current academic systems and hierarchies create additional barriers for women and ideas for change.

Anti-Racism Awareness Week (May 22-26 2023)

The Province of BC has officially declared May 22-26, 2023 as Anti-Racism Awareness Week. In collaboration with Providence Health Care, and the Fraser Health Authority, the Faculty of Medicine REDI office is organizing events and resources to commemorate this important week and foster anti-racism action across the healthcare sector in BC.

Download the Anti-Racism in Health Care Zine.

Download the Anti-racism Zine.

Join our panel “Embracing Anti-Racism in Health Care” on May 25th 2023.

Embracing Anti-racism in Health Care

The Province of BC has officially declared May 22-26, 2023 as Anti-Racism Awareness Week. In collaboration with Providence Health Care, the Faculty of Medicine REDI office is organizing a series of events and resources to commemorate this important week and foster anti-racism action across the healthcare sector in BC.

The highlight of the week is the moderated panel discussion, “Embracing Anti-racism in Health Care,” on Thursday, May 25th, from 12:00 to 1:30 pm. The purpose of this panel is to shift the focus from mere awareness of racism to concrete anti-racism actions. The panel discussion will focus on practical ways we can promote anti-racism in our healthcare environments, education, and research.

Panelists Bios

Dr. Anas Manouzi

Dr Manouzi is practicing Pediatric Emergency Medicine at BC Children’s Hospital and is a recipient of the 2020-2022 Hudson Scholar Award in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. He leads various health equity and anti-racism initiatives within the Emergency Department.

Melissa Crump

Melissa Crump is the Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, for the Provincial Health Services Authority. She has over 19 years of healthcare experience as a Registered Nurse within multiple health care settings such as youth corrections, youth mental health, gynecology, subacute and acute medicine, as well as infection control and prevention. As an Advanced Practise Nurse Leader, Melissa works within Leadership and Organization Development where her passion for improving patient and provider experience is actualized within the healthcare setting. Melissa’s passion for change, engagement and complexity science has allowed her to facilitate, consult and share her knowledge on healthcare topics, as well as those that are meaningful to the black community.

Dr. Saleem Razack

Dr Razack joined faculty at UBC/BC Children’s Hospital on January 1, 2023, after a 25-year career as a pediatric intensivist and medical educator/education researcher at McGill University.  He is a graduate of the University of Toronto.  His research Interests in Medical Education include the intersection of assessment and professionalism with representation, equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism, for which he has had SSHRC and CIHR support.  He is the recipient of the AFMC May Cohen award for outstanding contributions to equity in medical education, the Haile T. Debas award for contributions to equity in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at McGill, and the Pediatric Chairs of Canada award for outstanding contribution to Medical Education. He is excited to start anew at UBC and hopes to serve in and contribute to the vibrant scholarly community in health professions education at UBC. 

Tania Dick

Tania Dick, a member of Dzawada’enuxw First Nations of Kingcome Inlet and a renowned Indigenous health care leader, has joined UBC as its first ever Indigenous Nursing Lead.

The role was created at UBC Vancouver’s School of Nursing to help guide work on reconciliation and prepare the next generation of nurses to uphold Indigenous Peoples’ human rights and end racism in health care.

Tania has survived racism and discrimination to become a specialist in Emergency and Aboriginal Health. She has been a RN in BC for 12 years and received a Masters degree in the Nurse Practitioner program at UBC in 2010 and is active in the ARNBC, becoming president elect in 2015 and president 2017-2019. Her goal is to empower nurses to use their voice, and work together to benefit both the nursing family and the health of all British Columbians


Neila Miled

Dr. Neila Miled – Anti-Racism Advisor

Topic: Embracing Anti-racism in Health Care

Date: Thursday, May 25th, 2023

Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm PST

What Will I Learn?

You will learn more about practical ways we can promote anti-racism in our healthcare environments, education, and research.

Transformation, Inspiration and Guidance: Celebrating 20 Years of Indigenous Excellence in Medicine

Thank you for joining us on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (PST), for “Transformation, Inspiration and Guidance: Celebrating 20 Years of Indigenous Excellence in Medicine.” In this Indigenous Speaker Series session, we had a conversation with James Andrew, a member of Lil’wat Nation’s Mount Currie Band and the Associate Director of Indigenous Initiatives at the Faculty of Medicine. James Andrew has been a source of inspiration and guidance in helping to create and transform the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Indigenous MD Admissions Pathway – The Pathway. In 2022 the UBC Faculty of Medicine community celebrated 20 years of The Pathway as well as the Indigenous Family Medicine Residency Program, and over this time period more than 120 Indigenous doctors have graduated and are now serving communities across the province as family doctors, surgeons, pediatricians, and more.

Join us virtually on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (PST), for “Transformation, Inspiration and Guidance: Celebrating 20 Years of Indigenous Excellence in Medicine.This virtual event is presented by the Indigenous Speakers Series

Speaker Bio

James Andrew, member of Lil’wat Nation’s Mount Currie Band, Associate Director of Indigenous Initiatives at the Faculty of Medicine

James Andrew, a member of Lil’wat Nation’s Mount Currie Band, has been with the University of British Columbia for more than 25 years. Twenty-one of those years has been with the Faculty of Medicine as the Indigenous Student Initiatives Manager where his role was to recruit and support the Indigenous medical students thru the Indigenous Pathway. The Indigenous Pathway program and the Indigenous Family Practice Residency recently celebrated their 20-year anniversary in November 2022. To date, UBC Faculty of Medicine’s MD program has graduated more than 130 Indigenous physicians. He is currently the Associate Director of Indigenous Initiatives, Office of the Vice Dean, Education, Faculty of Medicine.


  • Honorary Medical Alumni Award, UBC Medical Alumni Association, UBC Faculty of Medicine, Alumni Engagement, 2023
  • Indigenous Health Advocacy Award, Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, Ottawa, ON, 2023
  • Dean’s Staff Award, Respectful Environment, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine, 2021.
  • 25 Year Club, Twenty-Five Years of Service, University of British Columbia, 2020.
  • Long Term Service Award-20 Years, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine, 2016.
  • UBC President’s Staff Award, Advancing Diversity and Inclusion, University of British Columbia, 2013.
  • Visiting Scholar’s Award, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2001.


Derek Thompson
Derek K Thompson – Thlaapkiituup, Indigenous Advisor


James Andrew has been a source of inspiration and guidance in helping to create and transform the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Indigenous MD Admissions Pathway – The Pathway. In 2022 the UBC Faculty of Medicine community celebrated 20 years of The Pathway as well as the Indigenous Family Medicine Residency Program, and over this time period more than 120 Indigenous doctors have graduated and are now serving communities across the province as family doctors, surgeons, pediatricians, and more.

Creating relevant and timely pathways to excellence in medicine for Indigenous – First Nations, Inuit, Métis – peoples leads to meaningful commitments in regards to Reckoning with the Truth and Working Together for a Better Future. As we turn toward the next part of the journey, we are entering a period of new optimism even as we face new challenges. From the tragedies of the past come the heartfelt hopes for the present as well as the future, the resolve to make transformative changes, and the faculty and ingenuity to do so. Let us all commit to making the journey to becoming a doctor, a surgeon, or any of the many and important health professionals safe, appropriate and inspiring in this era of telling the truth and reconciling for the future.

Please join me in this important conversation with James Andrew, and learn how we can make the next 20 years equally transformative and promising for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities.

Topic: Transformation, Inspiration and Guidance: Celebrating 20 Years of Indigenous Excellence in Medicine

Date: Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm PST

What Will I Learn?

You will learn about the Indigenous MD Admissions Pathway and the Indigenous Family Medicine Residency Program

Continue Learning

“The time to make things happen is now. The time to seek out our individual and shared power is now.”

Learn more about REDI’s Indigenous Initiatives here

Discover more about REDI’s Indigenous Initiatives Speakers Series here

Find REDI’s Indigenous-Specific Resources here

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (May 17)

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia raises awareness of the realities of members of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities’ lives to help erase these phobias through understanding. The best way to participate in the commemoration of this day is to be an active ally to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Learn about the lives they lead and the struggles they face in terms of violence and bigotry and work to create a space where they can be heard and be legitimized – at the individual and systemic level.

The concept of an International Day Against Homophobia was conceived in 2004 and the first celebration held on May 17, 2005. May 17th was chosen as the day of recognition to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization in 1990. Transphobia was added in 2009 and Biphobia was added to the campaign in 2015.

Despite progress in the area of 2SLGBTQIA+ recognition and rights many people in these communities in Canada and around the world continue to face fear, misunderstanding, hatred, violence and oppression.

This year’s campaign theme is: “Together always: united in diversity”. We encourage each member of the Faculty of Medicine community to commit to working to advance the rights of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. These are not special rights but basic human rights recognized in law. If we are to stand up for justice for all then these rights must be recognized and supported. We must combat anti-gender movements that deny the humanity of those who challenge traditional roles and stereotypes.

Act in solidarity with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities on May 17th and every day.

Jewish Heritage Month (May 2023)

May has been recognized in Canada as Jewish Heritage Month since March 2018 after a unanimous vote in the House of Commons: Canadian Jewish Heritage Month Act. The intention is to remember and honour the contributions of Jews and Jewish communities that have made a difference to Canadian lives and to educate future generations about the role that Jewish Canadians have played and continue to play in communities across the country. Canada is home to approximately 400,00 Jews, more that 1% of the Canadian population and the third largest population of Jews in the Jewish Diaspora. Jewish Canadians have excelled in a wide range of endeavours including arts, medicine, law, philanthropy, entertainment and business making significant contributions to Canadian life. Each week in May, B’nai Brith will share messages from prominent individuals recognizing Jewish Heritage Month

Despite the positive contributions made by Jews here and around the world and despite the lessons learned from the Holocaust antisemitism in all its forms and expressions is not only present but on the rise in Canada and throughout the world. The annual audit by the Jewish Advocacy group B’nai Brith found record levels of antisemitism in Canada last year, with 2,799 anti-Jewish hate crimes, including beatings, vandalism of synagogues and swastikas in schools. 

Discrimination, prejudice, harassment, vandalism, hate crimes and violence targeting Jews on the basis of prejudice and bigotry toward their religion and culture are everyday expressions of fear of and hatred towards Jews. 

Despite the prevalence of these acts of aggression toward Jews they are often met with a strangely muted response and a tendency to “shrug off” antisemitism on the basis that “Jews don’t count”, reflecting a misguided view that Jews are part of the white privilege dominant class and should not be seen as oppressed. Antisemitism constructs its Jewish targets as the privileged and powerful which sets antisemitism outside of the circle of racism and discrimination with respect to which people will take a stand against. 

We encourage all members of our community to reject complacency as a response to antisemitism and to stand in solidarity to condemn prejudice and acts of hatred and discrimination against Jews with the same vigor we condemn other expressions of racist and discriminatory attitudes and all forms of hate and discrimination.  

Learn how to recognize and combat antisemitism. Learn about the history and diversity of the Jewish people and the history of antisemitism and its persistence on our campuses, and communities across Canada.